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Tel: 01344 875101

    Stepping Forward

    Building Confidence for Life

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      Heathermount School has changed my son's life and ours as a family... My son is now the boy I knew he could be.

      Nicola P, parent

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      Heathermount has fully taken on board my son and has given him the opportunities, he once didn’t have to be the best he can be. He is absolutely loving being at Heathermount.

      Amy B, parent

    About Our School

    Welcome to Heathermount

    We are a non-maintained special day school, owned by The Disabilities Trust, set within 14 acres of stunning grounds in Sunningdale near Ascot. At Heathermount we cherish all of our students and ensure that provision is tailored to meet individual need. We offer learning packages to children and young people aged between 4 and 19 with a diagnosis of ASC, dependent upon ability, needs, and interests.

    All staff have high expectations for students and are very proud of the amazing progress every student makes once they are secure, settled and understood. We are determined to create a learning environment which builds confidence and allows for staff and children to flourish. All our students access the National Curriculum with a view to enter for nationally recognised accreditations which include GCSEs and Functional Skills. Running in tandem with the National Curriculum, we offer a range of vocational qualifications which include Skills for Working Life, Catering & Hospitality, Business Administration, Horticulture and work experience opportunities.

    All students are helped to become independent, confident young adults who are able to leave school and enter the world of further education or employment. We are privileged to have small teaching groups and a dedicated team of teaching and therapeutic staff who work relentlessly to find solutions to any barriers that might hinder learning. Heathermount is a wonderful place for children to thrive and we would encourage you to visit and explore for yourself.

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     What is Family Partnership?

    Family Partnership is a service set up by Heathermount School to further improve links to the families of children with autism who attend the school.  Its purpose is to act as a facility that enables parents to find information about a wide range of subjects or issues, both big and small; and help them with those first steps - taking action to get what they need or address an issue that has arisen.

    We aim to share knowledge and experiences to increase confidence of both families and staff in supporting students with autism at home and school.  We are partners in the truest sense – strength in unity and knowledge.

     Who is Family Partnership?

    Family Partnership is led by the Headteacher of the school and supported by Julie Swann. Julie has worked at Heathermount School for over 6 years supporting students in class. She is also the parent of an autistic person who has experienced both mainstream and specialist settings.  Julie has also previously been a volunteer for a local autism support group, worked on the Education Advocacy Helpline for the National Autistic Society and is a parent governor at the school.

    Areas that Julie can assist on include:

    • DLA/PIP
    • Other financial support
    • Transport issues
    • Behaviour
    • Puberty/Sex
    • Sleep patterns
    • Anxiety
    • Isolation/Social

    Transitions - Types of Transitions:

    • Internal – New class, new teacher, new subject
    • Thinking about the future – Year 9 and upwards

    Post 16/Post 19 – Moving on -   What are the options?

    • Apprenticeships
    • Colleges/Further Education
    • Funding/S139
    • Employment/Work Experience

    Local support Links -      

    • Voluntary/Charitable organisations
    • Speakers/Training
    • Parents forum

    If you need to contact Julie, please do not hesitate in emailing her on: Alternatively, please call Julie at the school on 01344 875101.

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    READY - Our Autism Approach

    READY is Heathermount’s hierarchical autism specific approach to supporting students on the autistic spectrum.

    Regulating my emotions and sensory needs (Understanding my body)

    Many individuals with ASC have reduced self-awareness. This means that they may not understand/recognise the physiological changes in their body. This could result in students not recognising:

    • They are hot or cold
    • Their feelings
    • They are not feeling well

    Environmental Needs

    Many individuals with ASD have difficulty with processing information. When an environment is cluttered this reduces their ability to process information. Individuals with ASD need structure, predictability, organization and routine.

    Classroom structure includes:

    TEACCH - This enables the students to see what is required of them in each session. Staff will present the work by answering four questions:

    1. What work?
    2. How much work?
    3. When am I finished?
    4. What is next?

    How this information is presented can be differentiated dependant on the student’s level. For example, TEACCH drawers, task sheets, Classroom structure book, displayed on interactive smartboard, hanging file, clearly defined areas and flipchart. The environment is also kept clutter free with extraneous items put away.

    • Timetables
    • Teaching areas
    • Labelled drawers and cupboards
    • Visual support
    • Planners

    Autism - Me and Others

    The area of relatedness refers to how we support students in understanding others, their relationship to others, understanding events and their relatedness to events. We do this by:

    • Call students’ names to gain attention
    • Use one voice to prevent distraction
    • Communication strategies
    • Communication sessions

    Developing Social Communication Skills

    The area of relatedness refers to how we support students in understanding others, their relationship to others, understanding events and their relatedness to events. We do this by:

    • Call students’ names to gain attention
    • Use one voice to prevent distraction
    • Communication strategies
    • Communication sessions

    Many of the students struggle to understand the impact of their Autism on themselves and others.

    This includes:

    •  Lack of theory of mind
    • How their behaviour affects others
    • How to recognise, use, understand and generalise strategies

    Your Strengths and Achievements

    Many individuals with ASD have reduced self-esteem and confidence.

    This is supported by:

    • Celebrating success
    • Promoting self-belief
    • Taking pride in work
    • Building confidence

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